Bradley—Time Will Tell

By Ted Sares on April 2, 2013
Bradley—Time Will Tell
“My brain was swollen,” Tim Bradley said. “I'm not slurring as much.” (Hogan Photos)

“Until we see him back in a fight, it’s impossible for anyone not in his camp to know just how much this fight may have damaged the rest of his career.”—Scott Christ (BLH)

“Win or lose, you’re a great warrior.”—Bradley to Provodnikov prior to the decision being announced

“You used to see these fights in the ’50s and ’60s.”—Bob Arum

In an interview with BoxingScene (Ryan Burton), Tim Bradley discussed his recent battle and possible Fight of the Year with Ruslan Provodnikov in which Tim absorbed heavy punishment. Specifically, he said:

“It was great for the fans. It was great for my career. Will I come back the same as before? Absolutely. I’m getting clearer and clearer. My brain was swollen. I’m not slurring as much. I have no doubt I will come back 100% as good as I was before.” That was very candid; maybe too candid, but Timothy is an honest guy.

Desert Storm (30-0) said that despite the punishment, he’s confident he’ll be back as strong as ever. Maybe so, but my thinking is that he will never be the same fighter. I have rarely seen fighters come back 100% from this type of punishment. Listening to this interview after his fight (and also watching him being led to an ambulance) did little to convince me otherwise. I hope I am wrong.

A rematch would be terribly ill-advised. Bradley made his statement and answered all questions about his excitement factor, courage and grit, but he came within a hair of disaster by not fighting smart. He now needs to get his health and confidence back by taking some time off and then fighting someone with less firepower than Provodnikov. He needs to do what he does best and that’s being a premier pound-for-pound boxer.

As for the Russian, the affable Ruslan is very big boned for his weight and his punches are heavy and damaging. He also is a great sportsman as are so many boxers from Eastern Europe. During the Vera-Bondorovas fight in Verona on ESPN, he said on TV that upon viewing the video of the fight for a second time, he acknowledged that Bradley won. When was the last time you heard a losing boxer say that about a close fight?

As for whether Timothy took too much punishment, time will tell. Bob Arum said after the fight, “Nothing could have been better for boxing than that fight tonight.” But at what cost?

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  1. the thresher 04:22pm, 04/03/2013

    Good analysis Rax. I agree totally Bradley is pretty much damaged goods and should go for the early retirement package, get out, and smell some roses before he ends up like Terry Norris.

  2. raxman 04:14pm, 04/03/2013

    ted - I think Bradley will stay out of the ring long enough to be mayweather’s post guerrero opponent. I would say his people will be holding out for a big money fight knowing that he shouldn’t fight for too much longer. I think if trout beats canelo as I think he will the mayweather v canelo fight will be done and dusted before it got started. Floyd wont fight trout. he is too big and too left handed. I too think Bradley has potentially ruined himself with that fight. remember this is a guy who was only 1 fight into 147 prior to ruslan. along with jmm he’s not really a welterweight. and although ruslan made the jump for this fight he is clearly big and strong enough to fight in the weight class. Bradley i’m not so sure. obviously a Floyd fight is worth the $ for him but apart from that he should get south to the smaller punchers. perhaps finally having that fight with amir khan? amir who I hear you ask? but would still be worth money with the brit audience

  3. Tex Hassler 09:54am, 04/03/2013

    The smart thing for Bradley to do is to retire. He might have one good fight left in him but I think damage has already been done. Boxing is a sport that takes something out of a fighter in almost every fight and sparring session.

  4. the thresher 07:55am, 04/03/2013

    Thanks, Norm. Me too

  5. norm Marcus 05:35am, 04/03/2013

    A very insightful story Ted. I agree that Tim Bradley pound for pound is a great fighter. But the guy’s durability is suspect. I never saw a champion that has been put in the hospital so much by his opponents! Both Manny and Ruslan put him in an ambulance! He officially won both those fights but I personally think he should have lost them. The judges were blind in the Pacquiao fight and the referee blew the first knockdown in the Provodnikov bout, which could have made it at least a draw.
    I think he is a solid contender but not champion material. I know I am in the minority here but that is my opinion. Again, champions are supposed to put the OTHER GUY in the hospital!
    Like to have seen Bradley in the ring with Mickey Walker or Lew Tendler! Maybe someday in that big square ring in the sky?

  6. the thresher 03:57pm, 04/02/2013

    Please bring your camera. You take good photos.

  7. jofre 03:13pm, 04/02/2013

    Yes, I will see you on Sunday. I too am anxious to see where Eder Jofre ranks on Matt M’s top 100.

  8. the thresher 09:32am, 04/02/2013

    Jofre, I’ll be seing you on Sunday!!

    And speaking of Jofre, it will be interesting to see how the MATT M has him ranked in his top 100.

  9. the thresher 09:30am, 04/02/2013

    I have this fear he will fight JMM, and that would be a slaughter.

  10. jofre 09:29am, 04/02/2013

    Ted and Don, I agree. I loved the fight, but fear the quality of life consequences Bradley suffered. At best, he needs a long rest - and that includes staying out of the gym.

  11. the thresher 09:23am, 04/02/2013

    hahahahah. My eyes are done—like Bradley—-done. That f—king explosion years ago did them in for good.

  12. Don from Prov 09:21am, 04/02/2013

    No, I have nothing to prove—

    From one typo king to another

  13. the thresher 09:08am, 04/02/2013

    Thanks Prove.

  14. Don from Prov 09:07am, 04/02/2013

    Good stuff, Ted.  Once more the contradiction—

    Loving the sport and hating the consequences of it.
    I worry for Bradley

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